After getting married in 2014, Michelle Elson-Roza and her husband, Anthony, sat down and evaluated how they wanted to spend their time. Anthony worked in the hospitality industry and Michelle in finance. Both had inflexible schedules inopportune for newlyweds hoping to start a family. They decided they had to make some drastic changes. So in June of 2015, the couple formally established MJER Help, LLC in Chicago, Illinois — household management service for modern families.
“We constantly encounter couples and families in their 30s, and they don’t have time for each other. We wondered what we could do for modern families while still doing something together. So with our business model, we’re providing home services for modern families in a way that people can afford. We’re starting out with 2 service lines for personal chefs and concierge service,” Elson-Roza explains of MJER Help.
Elson-Roza offers some examples of the assistance their small business provides.
“If you need someone to cook a meal once a week, help making cupcakes for a school bake sale, or help creating a healthy meal program for your family, we’ve got you covered. We customize our service for each family or professional who has a lot going on.”
According to Elson-Roza, their combined passion for customer service and efficiency will bring MJER Help success. They understand the needs of their demographic and know how to work with their target clientele. They hope the combination of these factors will help to exceed their customers’ expectations.
“It’s really rewarding to talk to our clients and understand the pain points in their lives. Once we identify those, we set a program in place that helps to reduce stress so they have more time to spend with their families,” she says.
What makes Elson-Roza’s business model unique is that – regionally — there isn’t another small business providing a suite of services.
“There are a lot of different services for each category, but nothing for people who want convenience and low costs. It’s uncharted territory. Our goal is to modernize the way people think about their household duties,” she rationalizes.
The couple knows that the home is a private and sacred space, which is why establishing trust is a high priority for them. The target demographic for MJER Help is people in their 30s and 40s, both families and professionals.
“The people that our services will align with the best are people who are climbing the corporate ladder and the expectations on them are extremely high, so they appreciate an incredibly professional service that helps free up their time. For example, if a husband is trying to become a partner at a law firm and his wife just had their second baby and they’re trying to sell their condo, then there might be a 6-month period where they need help,” she emphasizes.
While the newlyweds-turned-entrepreneurs build their website, they’re getting the word out about MJER Help through their network, which includes childhood friends, college friends, and past coworkers.
“We really want to build a trusted network organically, and eventually we’ll do more formal marketing. Right now, it’s just the two of us, so we want to walk before we start running.”
Challenges of Small Business Ownership
Elson-Roza confides that the hardest part of starting up a small business is to know when to stop researching and actually apply the research one learns along the way, which can be a lot harder than it sounds.
“I’m a person who used to do research for a living in the finance world. There has to be a point where you stop researching and stop trying to make everything perfect and just start doing. That’s been a really big challenge. It is so different going from a big corporate environment to having a small business. It’s a much bigger undertaking than most would appreciate,” Elson-Roza says.
Tips for Entrepreneurs
Elson-Roza urges aspiring entrepreneurs working toward startup success to take the plunge into small business ownership only under the condition that they’re ready to devote a significant amount of time to it.
“Talk about your idea to as many people as possible because you might get some great perspective from people who want to help you. Learn to trust yourself because you’ll be making big changes even when you’re in the initial stages, and you’re going to be constantly refining your business concept,” she advises.
Despite how daunting it can feel to become a small business owner, Elson-Roza insists it’s worth it.
“It’s incredibly exhilarating – after working for 10 years – being able to apply everything I learned into our own business. It shows me how much I’ve learned along the way. It’s incredibly exciting when our idea resonates with people. We want to help people live healthier, better lives. Being able to make money doing that is gratifying,” she enthuses.
Experience as a 1-800Accountant Client
Michelle Elson-Roza of MJER Help, LLC is a satisfied client of 1-800Accountant.
“I think it’s a great solution for small businesses in the startup phase. I love being able to schedule 30-minute calls as frequently as I need. Not only is the service great, but having someone hold me accountable helps me get my work done in a timely manner. If you hire a private accountant, you pay hundreds of dollars an hour, so it’s a great service that I would highly recommend.”
Photo credit: The logo included in this blog post was provided by MJER Help, LLC and is used with permission.